President Barack Obama on Friday said that he's opposed to a
boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi over a recently approved
anti-gay law in Russia.
Obama made his remarks during a wide-ranging press conference.
“I do not think it's appropriate to boycott the Olympics,”
Obama said. “We've got a bunch of Americans out there who are training
hard, who are doing everything they can to succeed. Nobody is more
offended than me by some of the anti-gay and -lesbian legislation
that you've been seeing in Russia. But as I said just this week,
I've spoken out against that not just with respect to Russia but a
number of other countries where we continue to do work with them but
we have a strong disagreement on this issue.”
“And one of the things I'm really looking forward to is maybe
some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold, or silver, or
bronze. Which I think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of
attitudes we're seeing there. And if Russia doesn't have gay or
lesbian athletes, then probably make their team weaker.” (The
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Russia's “gay propaganda” law, which prohibits the public
promotion of gay rights, has sparked worldwide condemnation,
including calls to boycott next year's Sochi Games.
diplomat Vitaly Churkin: “We don't have anti-gay laws.”)